Most of the year, I'm not too much of a baker. I'll mix up some muffins or make cookies with my kids, but in general I spend my energy on the main part of a meal. At Christmas, though, I am all about the cookies. I love the delicate, buttery, fancy ones made by experienced cooks and the brightly-colored, sprinkles-heavy treats made by little hands equally. And those calories add up....most Christmas cookie recipes are not shy with the butter and sugar, to say the least. And I try not to think too much about exactly what is in those vivid decorations.
Taking a spin through the Internet, I found out that there are healthier cookies out there, and they tend to be pretty easy too. Think meringues, for example: They use just egg whites and sugar, and take on a variety of flavors and even colors for a festive appearance and light, crisp texture.
Fruit figures prominently in a lot of better-for-you cookies as well, as do healthier ingredients like oats and dark chocolate. More strongly flavored ingredients mean you get a lot more flavor for the calories you're spending.
Finally, size matters. A lot of healthier cookie recipes are for little bites, not plate-sized behemoths.
Some good collections of healthier cookies are on Delish and Eating Well. The Eating Well piece is especially interesting because it shows you how to make naturally decorated cookies...no more scary neon sprinkles!
What are your favorite kind of Christmas cookies? And how do you make them healthier?